Wisconsin hasn't lost a home game in over a calendar year. Ohio State didn't come close to threatening that streak on Thursday.
The Buckeyes never led and trailed by as many as 32 against the Badgers at the Kohl Center, falling behind early and hardly mounting a comeback in an 89-66 loss. The victory is Wisconsin's 16th consecutive at home.
The loss drops Ohio State to 10-7 overall and 0-4 in the Big Ten. No. 18 Wisconsin moves to 14-3 on the season and 3-1 in the conference.
Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard emptied his bench even before the midway point of the second half. Paced by Bronson Koenig's 21 points (on 7-of-11 shooting from behind the arc) and Nigel Hayes's 15 points and four assists, Wisconsin shot 55 percent from deep. Eleven Badgers entered the scoring column and they outrebounded Ohio State 44-31.
JaQuan Lyle led things offensively for the Buckeyes with 13 points. Kam Williams had 12, Trevor Thompson added 11 plus nine rebounds and Jae'Sean Tate chipped in 10 points.
|21–53 (40%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||36–73 (49%)|
|5–20 (25%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||12–22 (55%)|
|19–23 (83%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||5–15 (33%)|
Wisconsin's patient offense and stellar offensive rebounding led to an early 16-7 lead. The Buckeyes responded with a 7-0 run to get back in it at the 13:33 mark of the first half but that was the closest they got the rest of the way.
Poor shot selection, bad turnovers and worse work on the glass by Ohio State allowed Wisconsin to blow things open midway through the first half. The Buckeyes slogged their way through nearly a 6-minute field goal drought, which ignited the Badgers on a 12-2 run as they seized full control.
They led 45-27 at intermission behind 15 points from Koenig and another 11 from Hayes. At the break, Wisconsin had more offensive rebounds (14) than Ohio State had on defense (13). Those second chances led to a sizable edge in total shots — the Badgers recorded 16 more attempts than the Buckeyes and held a 22-8 advantage in the paint in the opening 20 minutes.
Wisconsin outscored Ohio State 42-22 in the paint.
Ohio State's 0-4 start in the Big Ten is the worst start in conference play in Matta's 13-year tenure. The last time the Buckeyes started 0-4 came in the 1997-98 season.
Ohio State's next chance at securing its first conference win of the 2016-17 season is Sunday when it hosts Michigan State at 1:30 p.m.